Once more a little more than a month has passed since my last blog post. The main reason for this is simply that although many things have happened nothing big and important enough to blog about has happened. Therefore, this blog post will be a basic update of my life over the past month and a bit.
Rollin’ Rollin’ Rollin’
Since the last post was about my cane, it seems appropriate that I begin with the news of my wheelchair. Every now and then, and far more often than I’d like, I have days where I need to do something but physically cannot. I’ve been thinking recently about getting a wheelchair and I know I’ve mentioned it on here before as well. Recently I had one of these days and it upset me more than usual. So the next day my partner and my crutches helped me to walk a few feet up the road to Ableworld where I’d spotted a wheelchair that I liked previously. I wanted to try it on a bad day to make sure that I’d still be able to use it, and I could. So we bought it and that weekend we took it bowling. I had a little trouble getting on and off of the bus, and I felt horribly embarrassed by that, but I’m happy to know that the chair is there if I need it, so hopefully I won’t have any more of those days where I have to decide whether I’m going to do what I need to do or what I have to do.
Not a diet, a lifestyle change
I have heard a number of chronic illness patients swear that a clean, low carb diet has helped to improve their symptoms. I’m not just talking about M.E here, but a whole variety of chronic conditions from pain and fatigue to migraines and allergies and, of course, digestive problems. A few of that number talked about a book by Dr Sarah Myhill. She believes (as do many scientists at this moment in time) the symptoms of M.E and Fibromialgia are caused by a lack of normally functioning mitochondria in the cells. Without going into too much scientific jargon, the mitochondria are what give our cells energy and if they can’t do that effectively, or if there aren’t enough of them, we are left without enough energy to function correctly. This explains the array of M.E symptoms including not just fatigue but brain fog and a faulty immune system as well as others. She suggests that by eating a keto-paleo diet we can help our bodies utilise the energy we get from our food more effectively. Combining this with proper pacing techniques so that we don’t waste the energy we do have, and supplementing with vitamins and minerals known to aid cell metabolism, we can gain back a percentage of our functionality. Of course, where you start will effect where you can go, she never promises a full recovery, and it is a life-long regime, but considering how many times I’ve heard it works, and the sound science behind it, it’s definitely worth a shot. I’ll leave a link to her website here if anyone wants to learn more: CFS The Central Cause: Mitochondrial Failure
So far (it’s been about 4 weeks) I’ve not noticed much difference in my fatigue, only an improvement in my digestion, but I’ve not been taking my supplements or tracking my carbs so although I have, for sure, drastically reduced my carb intake, I don’t think I’ve entered ketosis.
What’s in your head?
I’ve started seeing a new counsellor with Talk Liverpool, the lady I was seeing at Compass did not work out at all. I really tried to make it work with her, but every session I went in looking for answers and all I got was patronising sympathy. Basically, I would go in and say “this is really hard for me” and she’d respond “wow, that sounds really hard.” It wasn’t beneficial at all. The new woman I’m seeing, Claire, is much better trained. She knows how to listen, empathize, and reflect my thoughts back to me in a way that makes me dig deeper. I’ve just come back from my seventh session and I really feel like we’re getting to the crux of my problems. I am very optimistic.
A new addition
We got a cat! I know a number of chronically ill people take great comfort in their pets. They say that animals can sense when you are unwell or upset and they find a unique way of confident you. However, our new cat, at 2 years old, is still a kitten. As much as I love him and he can make me laugh, he’s more needy than I am. He requires a lot of attention and having him around the house is almost like having a toddler. He gets into everything, he destroys anything that isn’t nailed down, he’s constantly under our feet, and he cries for your attention all the time. I wouldn’t give him up for anything, but he really does try my patience sometimes. So much for a therapy cat.
Two down, one to go
My second year of uni is drawing to a close. It’s been demanding but enjoyable. I’m becoming quite apprehensive about the coming summer. In order to gain employment after I graduate, I need to have real world experience. I planned to get this experience over the summer months but I’ve been trying to contact places since before Christmas and still don’t have anything in place. As a chronically ill person, I know that employers will be hesitant to take me on, so I know I need to have something really special to be considered ‘worth the risk.’ Without any kind of experience, going into the job market is going to be disastrous for me. There are people at uni who can help me with this, but at the moment, time, revision, and a little bit of pride, are getting in the way of me asking for help.
There’s probably some bits and pieces that I’m forgetting but for the most part you can now consider yourselves updated. I hope to bring you some more meaningful posts soon.